Watsonian Vespa Manx kit

2nd September 2016


Sidecar | GP Manx | GTS | GTV | Scooter


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Watsonian GP Manx and Vespa scooter


As unlikely as it might sound to some, Watsonian Motorcycle and Sidecar Company (to use the full name) has developed a kit allowing a Vespa GTS or GTV scooter to be hitched to Watsonian's long established GP Manx sidecar. The design of the GP can be traced back to the 1960s. But, we hear, it was inspired by the sidecar designs of the 1930s. The Vespa hacks, however, are up-to-the-minute and are said to be well up to the job.


The GTS and GTV scooters are powered by (nominally) 300cc engines delivering 22hp with 16.4lbs-ft (22.3 Nm) of torque. But is that really enough? Watsonian thinks so, and certainly there are plenty of other (and lower-powered) scooters out there hauling chairs.


The real problem with this union is the absence of convenient attachment points on the Vespa. But Watsonian is used to dealing with these issues and, as ever, has developed a "special chassis and sub-frame" which attaches to the scooter's pressed steel underpinnings


The suspension on this chassis is hydraulic. It runs with a standard 12-inch Vespa wheel to keep it both looking right, and performing right.

The Manx body is fibreglass. There's 53-inches (1346 mm) of leg room, and the cockpit is 18-inches (457 mm) wide. That, we understand, will comfortably accommodate "passengers of most sizes". There's a boot/stowage locker at the rear of the Manx which is accessed by tilting the seat forward.


Watsonian GP Manx sidecar and Vespa scooter


So how much for this slightly odd couple? Bring your own Vespa and 4,500, and Watsonian will get you on the road. The price includes factory fitting, and although a tonneau cover is included, a hood will cost extra.

The price of a Vespa GTS is currently around 4,200. The warranty is two years.

Vespa GTS specifications

Engine: 278cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single
Power: 22bhp (claimed)
Torque: 16.4lbs-ft (22.3Nm) @7500rpm
Front suspension: Single sided fork with shock/damper

Rear suspension: Mono-shock/damper
Front brake: 220mm disc
Rear brake: 220mm disc
Front tyre: 120/70x 12-inch
Rear tyre:  130/70 x 12-inch
Fuel capacity: 9.5 litres
Seat height: 31-inches (790mm)
Colours: Montebianco White, Blu Gaiola, Rosso Dragon Red, Nero Lucido Black

Options: Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Anti Slip Resistance (ASR)





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